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Automation has placed additional requirements on cable design. These applications typically require motion. Stationary applications do not require the added stress of cable motion. When designing a cable for motion, you must consider:

  • The type of motion
  • Environmental conditions
  • Any special mechanical requirements

Cables designed for flexing have finer copper strands, a non-slip agent applied over each layer of conductors, non-wicking textile wrap, shields separated from conductors by a thin jacket, and the choice of the outer jacket. Bend radius of the cable affects the mechanical design of the system. Recommended minimum bend radius of the cable should not be exceeded. Exceeding the bend radius of the cable reduces the system life.

Typical motions for flexing cables include continuous or  torsional flex.

Continuous flex cable is used in C-track applications where the cable is rolling or flexing back and forth in a linear motion. In this application, the minimum bend radius of the cable is typically designed for 10 times the diameter of the cable or more.

Torsional flex (longitudinal twisting) cable is used in applications where the cable is being twisted and flexed constantly. In these applications, the cable is being twisted clockwise and counter-clockwise with varying angles from 90º to 360º. An application example of this type of cable would be robotic equipment.